2017 Volkswagen Passat Driving Impressions

With the 170-hp four-cylinder turbo, power comes on early and stays there for most of the rev range. The engine feels quicker than it is, about 8.0 seconds to get from zero to sixty, and it isn’t ever taxed during daily driving. The 6-speed automatic shifts smoothly.

Even with 110 more horsepower on paper, and a strong 258 pound-feet of torque, the V6 (called VR6) doesn’t always feel that much faster than the turbo four. It’s strong and confident, but its acceleration of 6.5 seconds from zero to sixty might not be worth the lower fuel mileage by four miles per gallon, plus the need for Premium fuel.

The V6 is mated to a dual-clutch 6-speed automatic manual transmission, with different gearing than the regular 6-speed automatic in the four cylinder.

The Passat is extremely pleasant to drive, with steering that’s light, accurate and nicely weighted, some of the best steering in the midsize class. The suspension is relatively taut for good control, yet the ride is comfortable.

It’s generally very quiet inside.

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